Olds College will giddy-up and celebrate 50 years of rodeo later this month.
The college will celebrate the milestone with an Alumni Rodeo March 24 at the Olds College Brawn Arena at 1 p.m. and a cowboy social at 5:30 p.m.
Guy Kelley, Olds College Rodeo team head coach, said he’s excited to be a part of the rodeo club’s 50th anniversary.
“It’s pretty neat to be the coach at 50 years. The program’s really coming on strong and it’s neat it’s lasted this long,” said Kelley, who joined team as an assistant coach about two years ago and became head coach in December.
There will be 11 events at the Alumni Rodeo; pole bending, bareback, goat tying, steer wrestling, tie-down roping, breakaway roping, saddle bronc, barrel racing, ladies cow riding, team roping and bull riding.
Kelley said he’s trying to get some past alumni members to compete or just attend the event.
“I’ve been in contact with some of the original members from 50 years ago. Obviously they won’t compete – but I hope they come,” Kelley said.
Current Olds College Rodeo athletes are looking forward to meeting alumni, said Kelley.
“The team’s pretty excited for sure. Some alumni have gone on to become Canadian champions,” he said.
Jake Vold, a professional bareback rider, three-time Canadian champion and 2007 Olds College graduate, won’t be able to make it to the Alumni Rodeo.
But Vold said his time at Olds College helped make him the athlete he is today.
“There was always good coaching, good facilities and there was an opportunity for good practice,” he said. “It was able to help me a lot.”
The 31-year-old had knee surgery earlier in the winter, which will put him on the shelf for another month or two. He said the Olds College team members who want to become a rodeo star will need to keep up the hard work.
Professional rodeo “can be a rollercoaster, but you just have to learn from your mistakes and keep your eye on the prize,” he said.
Vold is just one of many great competitors to come out of the Olds program, said Kelley.
Kelley said he’s also excited the Canadian Finals Rodeo is coming to Central Alberta.
“I think it’s going to be a good opportunity for Central Alberta – especially for Red Deer,” said Kelley. “Two weeks of agriculture-related events in Red Deer is going to be outstanding.”
With the CFR coming to Red Deer, it could potentially draw more attention to the Olds College Rodeo team, Kelley added.
All proceeds from the Alumni Rodeo support the team.
For more information, visit www.oldscollege.ca.